Conchies: Con­sci­en­tious Ob­jec­tors of the First World War

by Ann Kramer (Franklin Watts, 96 pages, £8.99)

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

Ann Kramer has fol­lowed her Con­sci­en­tious Ob­jec­tors of the Sec­ond World War with a vol­ume on the 16,000 con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tors of the First World War.

Broadly sym­pa­thetic, the book in­cludes sec­tions on the back­ground to the war, the Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Act of 1916 and its recog­ni­tion of con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tion, the dif­fer­ent types of con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor and the or­gan­i­sa­tions to which many of them be­longed, the op­er­a­tion of the tri­bunals and the al­ter­na­tive ser­vice avail­able, such as the Friends Am­bu­lance Unit or other ‘work of na­tional im­por­tance’. The ex­pe­ri­ence of the ab­so­lutists – of whom more than 1,000 ended up in pri­son – is also ex­plored here.

Thee value of the book lilies ini iits me­thod­i­cal ar­range­ment, the clear and sim­ple writ­ing style and the way in which in­di­vid­ual sto­ries bring it all to life. The book would ben­e­fit from de­tailed ref­er­enc­ing of sources and more in­for­ma­tion on rel­e­vant li­braries, ar­chives and web­sites, but it is a very valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the grow­ing lit­er­a­ture on this sub­ject.

David Blake is Head of Li­brary & Ar­chives for the Re­li­gious So­ci­ety of Friends (Quakers)

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